The World Sudoku Championship (WSC) is an event that has been gathering puzzle lovers since 2006. At first the World Sudoku Championship was conceived as a competition for individual players. But since 2007 teams began to participate in it.
What is the World Sudoku Championship and why is it interesting?
The first World Cup under the aegis of the International Puzzle Organization (World Puzzle Federation) took place in 2006 in Lucca (Italy). Since then the event has been held in the USA, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, China, Bulgaria, Canada and other countries. In 2023, the World Sudoku Championship will be hosted by Canada. Competitions between teams and individual players will be held in Toronto. Among the world champions are Japanese, Americans, and Poles.
The World Sudoku Championship has been won 4 times by Kota Morinishi from Japan: in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. He is considered to be the most successful individual participant of the World Cup. Thomas Snyder from the USA is in second place in terms of number of wins. Thomas Snyder has 3 victories on his account: in 2007, 2008 and 2011). Jan Mrozowski from Poland is also in the top three. Jan Mrozowski won the World Championship in 2009, 2010 and 2012).
The Japanese are considered to be the most successful in the team competition. They managed to win 5 times: in 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
Why is it interesting for ordinary players to follow the World Sudoku Championship? It's simple: to keep track of the variety of logical solutions and approaches.
How the World Sudoku Championship works
Participants solve a variety of puzzles of different levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard Sudoku.
The organizers allocate a certain amount of time to solve the puzzle. The participants are evaluated according to the time they managed to solve the puzzle. The winner is the one who solved Sudoku correctly, spending the minimum amount of time.
The conditions of the competition may differ depending on the composition of the participants and other features.
For example, in 2007 American Thomas Snyder achieved a trip to the World Cup by winning the first US National Sudoku Championship. For comparison: Thomas managed to solve 3 puzzles (easy, medium and hard) in 9 min and 59 sec.
Watching the World Sudoku Championships is interesting, as the participants of the World Championships solve puzzles on large playing fields. More than a thousand spectators watched the masters analyze the fields and try to find the right numbers. Playing at the World Championships is more difficult than playing in a magazine, on a cell phone or on a computer. This is due not only to the rules of the event, but also to the emotional pressure.
World record in Sudoku
The record holder for the number of champion titles is Japanese Kota Morinishi. But the world record for the fastest Sudoku solution belongs to American Thomas Snyder. He managed to solve the puzzle for the minimum amount of time - only 90 seconds! For this achievement Thomas Snyder got into the Guinness Book of Records.
Prize fund of the World Sudoku Championship
If you are going to get rich on Sudoku and go to live on the sea, you probably won't. The reason is that the event is not as popular as the Olympics or similar sporting events. As a result, it has no sponsors, whose funds are partly used to form the prize fund.
Thomas Snyder received 10,000 dollars in prize money for his championship title in 2007. It is hardly possible to get rich on this money. Take into account that the 2007 World Cup was held in the Czech Republic, and the flights from the USA alone would have cost half that amount.
If rumors are to be believed, Snyder immediately after receiving the prize money went to new Sudoku tournaments (and spent almost all the money on travel and accommodation).
Sudoku championships have a special atmosphere
For the participants, puzzles become a kind of "sport". World championships and regional competitions gather a unique audience. Thomas Snyder has repeatedly admitted in interviews that he enjoys meeting enthusiasts from other countries, and the competitions always have a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
If you like solving Sudoku and "cracking problems like peanuts", why not give it a try? What if your name appears among the champions in 2024 or 2025?